The meaning of things

We have discovered that there is a vast array of terms relevant to fibre and textiles. Confusingly, some words mean different things in different countries. Here are some that we have encountered along the way and how we understand their meaning.

BATTS web from the carder, layered onto a cylinder and used to make felt.
BLANKETS fleece found on the body of the alpaca.
BUMP sliver from the carder, wound onto a cylinder, ready for hand spinning.
CARD a process of opening and aligning fibres.
CARD CLOTHING the wires surrounding the carder cylinders.
COMB an industrial worsted process whereby fibre is drawn through a series of fine toothed combs in order to remove all short fibres which would create slubs in the finished yarn.
DTEX mass in grams of 10 000m of yarn
ENDS the number to singles to be plied.
FALSE TWIST slight twist inserted into sliver and tops to provide strength between processes.
GUARD HAIR course hairs found on a fibre bearing animal also known as primary or medulated fibres and responsible for the “itch” in finished garments.
MEDULATED FIBRE course hairs found on a fibre bearing animal also known as primary fibres or guard hair and responsible for the “itch” in finished garments.
NOIL short fibres and second cuts seen as small blobs in the carder web. They appear as slubs in spun yarn and can be removed by an industrial comb.
PLY the process of twisting two or more spun threads together to create yarn.
PRIMARY FIBRE course hairs found on a fibre bearing animal also known as guard hair or medulated fibres and responsible for the “itch” in finished garments. Ply – the process of twisting two or more spun threads together to create yarn.
ROVING a sliver once it has been reduced in weight by drafting.
SCOUR the washing process to remove skin oils, sweat, dust and urine from fibre using a cleaning solution and heated water.
SECOND CUTS very short pieces of fibre created during shearing.
SEMI-WORSTED a more refined process than woollen but without combing.
SINGLES the individual thread created by spinning.
SKIRT A FLEECE remove belly and other course fibres from the edges of the blanket leaving only prime fibre.
SLIVER the web from the carder that is condensed to make a thick “sausage” of aligned fibres.
SLUBS lumpy or uneven area in yarn caused by tiny bundles of short fibre.
STAPLE the length of a fibre or fibre bundle.
TEX mass in grams of 1000m of yarn
TOPS slivers produced in the worsted process after many steps of aligning and combing.
WEB opened and aligned fibres coming off the end of the carder.
WOOLLEN a method of creating yarn. Fibres are randomised and not aligned. Yarn has a slightly fluffy rounded appearance and is best suited to knitting. Both long and short staple fibres can be incorporated into woollen yarn.
WORSTED a method of creating yarn. The process is more complex and lengthy and a smooth sleek yarn in produced with highly parallelised long staple fibres. Very strong fine yarns with high twist suitable for machine weaving are made with the worsted process. Slivers are always combed to remove short fibre as well as any noil.